Galaxy look to replicate effort from win at Dallas on Sunday

LA handed Dallas one of its three losses back in May

magee_dallas

Photo Credit: 
Robert Martinez / Getty Images

CARSON,
Calif. – Sunday’s regular season finale between the Galaxy
and FC Dallas would be one of the marquee games in MLS no matter when it was
played. Featuring two of the top three teams in the league this season, the two
teams will be looking to shore up their postseason seeds while also re-gaining
some momentum that was lost by each club with a loss last weekend.

But most importantly to the
Galaxy, there is the little matter of the trying to clinch the Supporters’
Shield, which would reward them with home field advantage throughout the
upcoming MLS Cup Playoffs. The Galaxy had a chance to wrap it up last Saturday,
but were beaten by the Colorado Rapids 3-1. Now they face a Dallas
team that saw their own Supporters’ Shield crushed with a loss on the road to Real Salt
Lake.

Despite that loss, Schellas
Hyndman’s FC Dallas could still set a new club record for points in a season
and are a team that have only lost three times on the season, compiling a
12-3-14 record for 50 points, the third most in MLS this season

The Galaxy (17-7-5, 56
points) are one of the fortunate few with an edge on the visitors. It was
Magee’s 17th-minute goal at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas
on May 20 that was the difference in a hard-earned 1-0 victory. The Galaxy
triumphed that day despite the absences of Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan, who
were the U.S. National Team preparing for the World Cup in South Africa, and David Beckham,
who still was recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon.

“I think we played kind of
the way we’ve played since I got here,” Magee said. “We played hard with a lot
of heart. We were really competitive and I think we out-competed them.

“If we get back to that I
think we’ll have a similar result.”

“Going into that game, that
was a game we really looked at as we needed everyone working together,” midfielder
Chris Klein recalled. “We played as
a team that day. We didn’t play great, but we were effective.

“And we went down to a tough
place to play and got a result.”

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, asked about that game, said he didn’t
remember it much, if at all.

“To be honest,” he said, “I
don’t even recall the day. It’s immaterial; that was a while ago. I don’t even
know when we played, in April or May. It’s immaterial today, it’s just about
how you perform on Sunday.

“We have to play better than
them for 90 minutes.”

Such an effort would give the
Galaxy the long-sought Supporters’ Shield. A Real
Salt Lake
loss at Colorado
on Saturday would assure them second place in the West. If Real Salt Lake ties Colorado,
the Galaxy would need at least a draw against Dallas to wrap it up.

Arena called FC Dallas “solid
in every position on the field.”

“They’ve shared the
goal-scoring load among a number of people,” he said, referring to the likes of
Jeff Cunningham (11 goals), David Ferreira (8 goals and 13 assists) and Brek
Shea and Milton Rodriguez (5 goals each). They have a lot of depth to their
midfield, they have a very good back line and (goalkeeper Kevin) Hartman has
had an outstanding season.

“They have a good team, no
question about that. They’re going to be a very tough team to beat.”

It could be even stronger
with the presence of Hartman, who returned to training on Monday after missing
the last five games with a sprained ligament in his right knee, a result of an
incident with New York’s
Thierry Henry on Sept. 18.

Magee agreed the Galaxy will
need the same mentality it displayed in the earlier victory over their
conference rival.

“One hundred percent,” he
said. “I think mentality is everything. We have a lot to play for. We thought
that Colorado
was going to kind of sit back and give us the Supporters’ Shield, but at this
point in the season no team is going to do that.

“Dallas won’t be any different.”

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